Thursday, March 26, 2015

Author Tristi Pinkston

Day 14: Tristi Pinkston

1.        Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a stay-at-home, work-at-home, homeschooling mom with four kids and one great husband. I run Tristi Pinkston Editing and Trifecta Books, and I have a great time helping writers become authors. I’m pretty much addicted to pebble ice, salted sunflower seeds, chocolate, and Taco Time. Taking naps is one of my favorite things ever.

2.        What do you do when you are not writing?

I spend most of my time editing. When I’m not doing that, I’m napping (see—I told you I like naps) or watching a show on Netflix. I love reality shows like Hotel: Impossible and Chopped. Also, I’ve now seen every episode of Star Trek: TNG.

3.        What is your favorite smell?

There are two that I just love—freshly baked bread and a baby just out of the bath. If I ever had both in the same place at the same time, that would be total nirvana.

4.        When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing when I was five. I finished my first whole entire book when I was … let me think … in 2000. I had a bunch of bits and pieces before that. Really bad bits and pieces. No, you may not see them.

5.        If you had 24 hours to live, excluding spending time with your family, what would you do?

Um, I honestly don’t know. Spending time with my family is the only thing that seems important in a scenario like that.

6.        Do you ever experience writer’s block?

I sometimes burn out and need to recharge my brain cells, and I sometimes need to move on and come back to a scene or a project later, but I’d have to say that words are always flowing through me. They never really stop.

7.        Do you work with an outline, or just write?

I just write, and as I write, I keep a list of things to back and add. So, for instance, if I’m on page 35 and I realize I need to foreshadow something I just wrote, I make a note and catch it on my next round of edits. When I’m writing historical, I do have a timeline handy so I don’t miss a major battle or something like that, which would be pretty embarrassing.

8.        What is your favorite kind of cheese?

This is a hard one. I do like mild cheddar, but a nice provolone can also make me happy. So can a nice MLT . . . where the mutton is nice and lean . . .

9.        Is there any particular author or book that influenced you growing up or as an adult?

I grew up reading the classics—Little Women, A Girl of the Limberlost, Heidi, Alice in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables. Those books all contributed to my natural writing style, which is a little more old-fashioned, and I have to watch that sometimes. Ann Rinaldi was hugely influential in guiding me toward historical fiction, while I thank many cozy mystery authors for interesting me in that genre.

10.    Would I find anything growing in your refrigerator right now?

Is this a question I’m totally required to answer? Yes, you most likely would find something in the very back under something else. But if you come over to check that out, I won’t answer the door.

11.  How would you describe yourself in three words?

Visionary, stubborn, perfectionist

12.    Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Each and every one of my books has some part of me in it to different extents. If you know me and then you read my books, you’ll see it pretty plainly. Hopefully, that makes my books more realistic. At worst, it helps me work through my neuroses.

13.    Who is your favorite author? Since most of you will probably say me ;) please tell me then, who is your second favorite author?

I have so many favorites, it’s impossible to list them here. Elizabeth Peters, Ann Rinaldi, Madeline L’Engle, Lloyd Alexander, Louisa May Alcott, Robin McKinley, Gene Stratton-Porter, Anne George, L.M. Montgomery, Scott Westerfeld … you can see that my tastes are pretty varied.

14.    What was your favorite part of writing and why?

I love creating things. I love using my imagination and then making something where there was nothing before. And then I get to share that with someone else, and they enjoy it. There’s nothing like that kind of high. (Or the low when they don’t enjoy it … but that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes.) Oh, and my thirteen-year-old son just walked in carrying a copy of Secret Sisters. He said, “First time I’ve read it all the way through. Wow.” Things like that are definitely on my favorites list.

15.    Chocolate or Brussels sprouts?

This has got to be a trick question. There’s a hidden camera in here, right?

16.    What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

The toughest ones are the ones that are either blatantly mean or a little too close to home. I appreciate criticism if it’s something I can take and implement and learn and grow from, but there have been some occasions when it’s given in a mean-spirited way (usually by those lovely anonymous reviewers on Amazon) and that’s not meant to be helpful.

 17.    What has been the best compliment given to you as an author?

My second book, Strength to Endure, was read by a lady who had grown up in Germany during World War II, and she said that I got it exactly right. That was huge to me—I’d done so much research, and to know it had paid off was amazing. I also love it when people tell me they didn’t get any sleep because they were up reading, or I made them snort their drink in public because they were laughing—yeah.

18.    What is your least favorite smell?

Body odor and mildew are the two worst for me. I’m also not crazy about the smell of vomit. Or cigarette smoke. I’m allergic to mildew, so that one’s more than just a bad smell to me.

19.    Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

I do indeed. Stop being an aspiring writer and get something written. You can dream and build castles in the air all you want, but it’s sitting down, doing the work, and getting it out there that will actually make your dreams reality. Walk the walk. And if no one wants to publish you, self-publish. Take control of your own success.

20.      Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers?

Yes! Thank you for reading my books and for liking them as much as you do. Your appreciation for my craft keeps me going and makes me smile. If you’d like to receive my not-very-regular newsletter and stay updated on whatever crazy thing I’m doing next, please send an e-mail to

Author Bio  Tristi Pinkston is the author of over thirty books ranging from historical fiction to cozy mystery to cookbooks and lots of other stuff in between. She’s a popular presenter at writers conferences up and down the Wasatch Front, and is the president of two companies, Tristi Pinkston Editing and Trifecta Books. And after typing that bio, she now needs a nap.

Find Tristi here

Thanks for stopping by!
Sherry Gammon

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